A Flash Of Silver
By Jock Monteith 6th March 2019
There's very little in this world that can stimulate your adrenalin gland as much as a hooking a 'super fit' Atlantic salmon on a fly rod. When that gentle initial tap on the fly develops into an all out 'screaming reel' war there's no way your heart will escape the accelerator pedal. The natural highs in life don't come any better than this as you'll soon understand.
Playing A Salmon
The flashes of silver from a battling salmon will be very visible throughout the fight and even on a dull day when there's little light to reflect from the flanks of a salmon. Add some sunlight into the mix and you're in for some serious silvery shimmers & flashes as the salmon tries to throw the hook to escape capture.
A Bar Of Silver
These fresh run Scottish Atlantic salmon are often referred to as 'bars of silver' and once you make contact you'll fully understand why that is. Stay calm while you're playing a salmon and don't rush proceedings. You'll know when the salmon is tiring so don't try to overly rush the fight as a salmon will often fight back harder when over pressured.
Where To Land A Salmon
After hooking a salmon an experienced angler will be scanning the river margins for a safe area away from the main current where the salmon can be played out. This area should have some reasonable depth of at least a few feet and be snag free. A fish can be 'walked' under steady consistent rod pressure to such an area and you'll be surprised how effective this 'fight control' method can be.
Salmon Fight Tactics
Keep a high rod tip and let the salmon take line when it wants to. Eventually the fish will calm down if you're patient enough and start showing more of its flanks and tail at close range. This is the time of the fight to start thinking about landing the salmon however it's always advisable never to reach for the landing net too soon as it tends to psychologically rush the fight too much.
Netting A Salmon
Pick your moment and one attempt to net a salmon should be all you need. A pre-submerged salmon landing net only needs to be lifted when the fish is finally drawn over it. You should never have to over extend or lunge at a fish with the net and doing so usually means the fish isn't quite ready. The final flash of silver as you see here will be the most potent one for staying lodged in your memory banks!
Professional Salmon Guide Tuition
If you want to learn all of the above skills (and more) to make sure your 'batting average' increases at catching salmon through increased effective salmon pool coverage then book a professional salmon guide to teach you all of the relevant aspects of this fascinating pursuit. A permit purchase on it's own is generally a waste of money unless you're happy just being out on the river. To learn to effectively fish for salmon follow this link to book guided salmon fishing with a top performing professional salmon guide.
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